Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Spain 1809 Campaign: Battle of Talavera

At the battle near Toledo, Wellesley withdrew in good order when he saw Victor was coming up behind the french left flank.  He retreated back to Talavera where he received news that Soult was blocking his line of communication to Lisbon at Navalmoral, having defeated Cuesta there.  Wellesley halted his retreat to try & rest & regroup his army before marching on & tackling Soult.  But While Joseph had rested & regrouped his force on the field after the battle of Toledo, Victor kept marching after Wellesley.

In the morning of day 39 of the campaign Victor attacked Wellesley on the historical battlefield of Talavera.  Our battle of Talavera is rather smaller than the historical one as the British have no Spanish allies & the French have only Victor's corps.  The British significantly outnumber the French but the British force has significant casualties from Toledo & has not had time to round up stragglers & recover from the fatigue of the 2 day battle & the retreat.  So the British units nearly all start the battle carrying between 1 & 5 casualties.    Victor's corps has some casualties from past battles, but has had time to recover & his force is in much better shape.
The British are on the left.  Their line runs from the town to the wooded hills across flat agricultural ground dotted with olive groves, vineyards & crops.  
The French have formed a grand battery in their centre.  Wellesley has deployed his artillery in 2 smaller grand batteries. The French begin a steady advance behind a screen of skirmishers.
The French have sent a skirmish screen at engage the battery beside the town while their own battery pounds the British centre.  They also mount an attack through the woods on the far flank.
The British battery was forced to retire by the skirmish fire, but British infantry advanced and drove the legere back.  
The French brought up their cavalry while the Brits rallied their gunners.  

A brave British square held up the French advance while the rallied battery was redeployed.  The British centre has been pulled back after heavy losses to artillery fire.  French infantry have advanced into the vineyard to the left of the battery.  On the far flank the French attack has stalled.
The British right has stabilised for now, but the French infantry in the vineyard are a problem. 
The British left is also holding on & in the woods they are now counterattacking.  The British  centre has fallen back, but none of the British brigades are broken & although several have heavy casualties the Brits are not yet beaten.

This is the situation at 0 o'clock real time when we called a halt, but the battle will continue next week as it started early in the campaign day. 


grecian1959 said...

Looks really great
Can I ask what rules are you using

Jim Gandy said...

We use our house rule variant of Hail Caesar we call Hail Napoleon. We prefer to modify Hail Caesar rather than use Black Powder.